Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Norwegian Cheesecake with Tipsy Strawberries

Not very Norwegian at all, just an eye-catching title for this luscious cheesecake. The tipsy strawberries transform it into a "grown-up" dessert, but obviously you could just serve it with unadulterated berries. It's easier to make the cheesecake if you leave the ingredients out of the fridge before starting - helps to soften the cream cheese

Serves 6 Hungry People (8 restrained ones)

Preheat oven to 160ºC. Lightly oil a 23cm round cake tin

  • 200g wholemeal digestive biscuit crumbs
  • 50g melted butter
  • 50g demerara sugar
  • pinch salt
  • pinch cinnamon
Mix all these ingredients in a medium bowl, pat down firmly in the base of the cake tin and refrigerate while preparing the cheesecake filling

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 pot (think it's 240ml) sour cream - not light!
  • 240ml Philadelphia cream cheese - ditto
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • pinch salt
In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with 125g sugar until pale, add the sour cream, vanilla, flour and salt. Beat in the cream cheese a large spoonful at a time

Meanwhile beat the egg whites with the remaining 50g of sugar until stiff peaks form, take one large spoonful of this and add to the egg yolk mixture to loosen it. Then fold through the rest of the egg whites, careful not to knock out all the air

Spoon into the cake tin, bake on middle shelf in the oven for 45-50minutes, or until the surface feels firm. Cheesecake shouldn't take on too much colour, if it is, turn the heat down
a smidgeon

Tipsy strawberries
  • 2 punnets strawberries
  • juice of 2-3 oranges (depends on how juicy they are...)
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 2-3 tbsp Grand Marnier
  • 2-3 tbsp Cognac/Brandy
Quarter the strawberries, if small, chop in half, otherwise, quarter. Allow half the butter to melt in a shallow, large saute pan. Add the strawberries and sear very quickly. Add the cognac/brandy and Grand Marnier, stir and allow to evaporate (flambe if you're feeling brave). Remove the strawberries and set aside, add the orange juice and zest to the saute pn and reduce the liquid by 1/2.  If you happen to be in possession of some arrowroot add a spoonful off the heat (helps to thicken the sauce - not essential but some foodie friends are fussy). Add a few nuggets of cold butter to finish off the sauce, then place the strawberries back in the pan, and drizzle over each slice of cooled cheesecake.

Alternatively if you're a lazy slug, just drizzle these dipsomaniac strawberries over vanilla ice cream, also an excellent match

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